more Spring Fever

I don’t have too much to say, because I’d rather be outside than in front of a computer.

I can’t possibly choose my most favorite flower, but I sure do love these little grape hyacinth. We planted a patch of these about four years ago, and they’ve come up faithfully every year since without any demands or special needs. I didn’t see any sign of them a couple weeks ago, and was afraid that they had finally succumbed to our neglect. But I needn’t have worried, a couple days ago hundreds and hundreds popped up, seemingly overnight. The daffodils are continuing to bloom and I hope to take some pictures of the various varieties this weekend.

And since there hasn’t been a chicken picture here for nearly a whole month, I also took a picture of the chickens milling about under one of our oak trees the other morning:
I rented a cute little PBS documentary the other day called, “The Natural History of the Chicken“. There actually wasn’t much chicken history, just a bunch of people who understand the allure of chickens as I do. There was a short segment about how laying hens live that really turned my stomach. I don’t think I can ever buy eggs grown like that again. I shared some of our eggs with all our neighbors, and I think I may have some regular egg customers. One has already placed a standing order for a dozen a week.

The sunshine and longer days always fill me with energy, which has me making big plans. Who knows how much I will actually accomplish, but so far by big plans for Spring include:
*Put up a clothesline. I just bought this clothespin holder to make hanging up my wet clothes much much more fun:
Don’t you want to come hang up laundry with me?

*Build at least two raised planting beds, one for herbs and one for vegetables.

*Clean up all the various scrap wood piles, some left by previous owners, some the result of a fallen fence.

*Lay paving stones, which are piled here and there, in front of guest house for a new little patio area, near future clothesline.

*Paint ugly black iron table and chairs a cheerful turquiose to go on new patio area. Cover seat cushions with cheerful oilcloth.

*Paint inside of guest house light, bright white.

There’s much more to add to the list, but I better stop there for now. Happy Spring!

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signs of spring

It was so beautiful this weekend. I spent as much time as possible outside.
I don’t know how many varieties of daffodils we have planted in our yard, but there are a lot. These were opening in full force on Saturday and Sunday. Everything else is brown, but the daffodils are bright and cheery!

I’ve added pictures of the extra first prize treats for the contest, so don’t forget to leave a comment and answer my easy blog quiz questions! I made a little bag with my new fabric stash enhancement purchases to hold the book and cards for the grand prize winner:

And that is the promised knitted rose corsage on there. I may need to add a leaf, I think it needs one. Sadly, I didn’t get a good picture of the book I made, but it’s a little 5"x5" square book with Japanese-style paper covers, brown paper pages, and an open-spine Japanese 4-needle binding. You’ll just have to trust me, I guess.

Last night I had a chicken panic attack. I went to put the chickens to bed (that just means that I go out the the coop, count the chickens to make sure they are all there, and close and lock the door). Meanwhile, Bear was scratching around a pile of old wooden fencing that had blown down a couple years ago. We replaced the fence, but have various piles of the old fence in the corner of the yard. I figured he saw a lizard go in there at some point, since he obsesses over lizards. I counted my chickens, and there were only 17. I counted over and over, and still, only 17. I figured out that one of the Ruby’s was missing, which was odd, since they are always in the coop at night. Bluebeard insisted on sleeping under our shed a few weeks ago for a couple days, but I managed to convince her to go back with the rest of the flock, but the Barred Rocks have always gone into the coop. So I got out my headlamp and a flashlight, and wandered around and around the entire property, the whole acre. She was nowhere to be found. I checked the pile where Bear had been sniffing, but there didn’t seem to be any room for a chicken to have crawled into. The thing with chickens is, once they turn in for the night, they are out. I can reach into the coop at night and pick up any of them, and they’ll just sleep in my arms. They just don’t want to move after dark. I checked under the shed, under the porch, in all the trees, over the fence on all four sides, and…nothing. After nearly an hour of searching I finally had to give up. I imagined every possible scenario, did she go out through the gate when I had it open to take out the trash? Did she fly over the fence and then not find her way back? Did a hawk or an owl get her? I didn’t sleep well all night, and as soon as it started to get light, I was straining my ears to see if I could hear her. I went out as usual this morning to let the chickens out, looking around again for her. Once again, Bear ran right over to the pile of fencing, scratching and sniffing. This time a picked up the topmost layer, and out popped a chicken! And down rolled her egg! Silly girl! She had crawled under the wood to lay an egg, and gotten herself wedged in. She walked away a little drunkenly, but after a little food and water, she was walking around just fine, and I couldn’t tell which one of the four had spent the night in the woodpile. Oh, and Bear got lots of treats and pets for being my hero!

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